Clue HQ – The Warp Core Part 3 [Hivemind Review]

The Warp Core Part 3 is a point-and-click game in Telescape, created by Clue HQ in the UK.

The Warp Core title screen.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Web-based inventory system
  • Point-and-click
  • Video-based experience

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: £15 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This is an avatar-less Telescape game that provides 360-degree room views with hotspots that reveal more detail. You complete puzzles by clicking on interactive elements to enter information. You also collect and use inventory items, but you don’t have to actively manage them. They appear on the screen when they are useful.

The space you view in Telescape looks like a game you could play in person, but the online puzzles seemed to be altered or completely different from any possible real-life version.

The time machine's interior as viewed through Telescape.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our Hivemind Review format.

Brett Kuehner’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.
  • + If you like The Warp Core Part 2, you’ll probably like The Warp Core Part 3 as well, as the general structure is very similar
  • + Writing has good humor mixed in throughout the game
  • ? You should probably play the earlier episodes first, as some of the jokes refer to previous episodes
  • – Navigation is a bit cumbersome at times
  • + Enjoyable puzzles that aren’t too easy or too hard
  • – One puzzle had an unclear input mechanism and we had to read the hint carefully to understand
  • + Good hints in general, with progressively more details as needed
  • + The same excellent audio and video production as in the previous episode
  • + More puzzle content than in The Warp Core Part 2, making this one an even better value

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This was my first trip aboard The Warp Core, and I loved it. For me, what sets this game apart from other on-demand games is its specific mix of realism and fantasy. The story itself is fantastic: travel in your warp core to the Salem witch trials to retrieve artifacts and rescue your colleagues. The sets for this adventure look like standard (though well done) physical escape room environments. However, the Telescape virtualization of this world includes cartoony special effects that are quite delightful and infuse the game with a dark whimsy beyond what you would feel from the sets themselves. Aside from these effects, the puzzles are satisfying not because they provide any great challenge but because they serve logical purposes in the scenario, making them feel like storytelling vehicles. They also benefit from multiplayer participation and are cleverly interactive.

My only complaint about the game is that several puzzles plod on longer than they need to, often in the form of waiting for animations to finish. This is most frustrating for puzzles that seem designed for a trial-and-error approach to reveal their mechanics. In those cases, an incorrect guess might cost 30ish seconds of just waiting for the puzzle to reset, which is a steep price for necessary learning. In these cases, the design wasn’t flawed, but the execution detracted from the overall effect of the puzzles.

Ultimately, though, this game’s playfulness and coherence far outweigh its minor flaws, so I’m definitely putting the rest of the series on my at-home to-play list.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

We traveled back in time to when there were myths of witches living in town. We needed to retrieve a magic wand and spell book.

At its best, as with the previous part The Warp Core, the game had a fun theme and humorous story. The puzzles were unique and I especially enjoyed the final challenge.

At its worst, the video sequences were a bit pixelated. The 360-degree views of the rooms showed many objects and clues (presumably from the in-person game) that we had to flat out ignore for the online game flow. We got hung up on a very unintuitive puzzle where you had to interact with a drawing in a book, rather than with the actual object in the room. Casting spells in the game was a fun idea, but it became repetitive by the end.

I somewhat enjoyed this third part. But it truly showed how clunky some of the moving and clicking interactions were.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Yet again, Clue HQ has demonstrated their mastery in making immersive Telescape games with Part 3 of the Warp Core quartet. This game features a wide range of fun interactions, many of which encourage multiplayer communication and collaboration. The game was well produced from start to finish, with awesome pre-recorded scenes and clear navigation controls.

The central narrative premise – ”defeat the evil witch,” in the context of the (real) Salem witch trials – really doesn’t sit well with me, though treated in a more fictional/ fantastical setting, the theming was fairly entertaining. I enjoyed a core mechanic around using a magical wand, and I found all but one of the puzzles to be smoothly designed and well paced.

Our team played this game as part of the EGOlympics, and we sped through the content a bit faster than we normally would have. While a speed run clearly isn’t how the game is intended to be played, the game is indeed listed for up to 6 players. Our play style revealed one apparent flaw in game flow: in one section of the game with multiple parallel puzzle paths available, cut scenes from one of the paths repeatedly interrupted and effectively reset progress on another path. For this reason, I’d recommend enthusiasts play this with 2-4 player teams and stick together for the most part, or at least stay aware of what others are working on.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This series of games is among my favorite of the play-on-demand games based in Telescape. They have very good production value, and the puzzles are complex and interesting. This particular installment involves a fair number of videos and animation sequences, so it is a fairly long game. It was a fun challenge, and a refreshing implementation of the “witch” escape room theme.

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